Clayton Mainstreet Master Plan

 

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Clayton Mainstreet Master Plan

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Town of Clayton Downtown Master Plan Prepared for: Town of Clayton Clayton. NM Prepared by: Clayton MainStreet New Mexico MainStreet Commu nity ByDesign UNM Design Planning Assistance Center Adopted September 2007

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Town of Clayton Mayor Garth Boyce Trustees Jack Chosvig Dr. Mike Jenkins Jimmy Taylor [udey Valdez Chief Administrative Officer Mike Running Clayton MainStreet Board Richard Isaacs, President Irene Gonzales, Vice-President Robert Beck, Treasurer Carl Price, Secretary Audra Poling, JoBeth Vijil, Coby Beckner, Nancy Leighton, Shirley Carter, and Roy Dean LeRoy Wood, Director The Downtown Clayton Master Plan was jointly developed by the Town of Clayton, Clayton MainStreet, NM MainStreet and the University of New Mexico Design Planning Assistance Center (DPAC) , Anne Godfrey, Principal Faculty, and Heather Barrett, Historic Preservationist. Technical assistance was provided through the NM MainStreet Design Program. Special thanks to the many volunteers who gave countless hours of their time developing the Plan. We also acknowledge the financial support of the Town of Clayton, Clayton MainStreet and New Mexico MainStreet (NMMS). Prepared through a NMMS planning contract to: CommunityByDesign 230 S. St. Francis Dr Santa Fe, NM 87501 505-983-8328 Downtown Clayton Master Plan

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TABLE OF CONTENTS I. INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................ 1 3 4 6 6 8 11 15 17 17 17 18 27 35 36 Exhibit: Downtown Clayton Plan Area & Main Street District........................................ II. HISTORY OF DOWNTOWN III. EXISTING CONDITIONS...... A. Existing Plans and Studies............................................................................ B. Existing Conditionsl Asset Inventory.... C. Market Analysis..................................... IV. COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION PROCESS.............................................................. V. DOWNTOWN VISION............................................................................................... CLAyTON.................................................................. A. Vision........................................................................................................................ B. Goals.......................................................................................................................... C. Livability Guidelines................................................................................................. VI. DOWNTOWN MASTER PLAN/PROJECTS............................................................ Exhibit: Downtown Master Plan.................................................................................... VII. FUNDING SOURCES................................................................................................ Downtown Clayton Master Plan 11

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1. INTRODUCTION Clayton MainStreet and the Town of Clayton requested New Mexico MainStreet assistance to help make revitalization in the downtown stronger economically and more attractive. Through meetings with residents, town staff and officials, property owners, and Clayton MainStreet, a vision for the downtown district emerged. In particular, residents wanted to preserve and enhance Clayton's unique character and receive implementation steps toward their vision. Other key desires included: • Safe and attractive routes for pedestrians and bicyclists A diversified mix of businesses Appropriate, attractive design for buildings and streets Housing that is affordable to people with mixed incomes \ • • • • Continues to be a place for Clayton's residents and provides for their needs In response, a number of steps were identified that the town can take to transform the look and function of downtown, including: • Establishing a distinct character for downtown through facade and streetscape design. which also makes it more inviting and safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers; Creating an Arts and Culture District utilizing the new State legislation; and Making the Downtown a community center by mixing land uses, creating pleasant environments for gathering, stimulating a mix of businesses, and using building and site design that enhances the character of Clayton. • • Specific steps were developed in regarding regulations and investments that will lead to changes in the built environment. The implementation steps focus on these opportunities: The Clayton Master Plan seeks to enhance the unique visual quality of Clayton by helping business and building owners in addressing all design elements to create an appealing environment, thereby providing residents and visitors with an attractive and vibrant downtown Clayton and community. The purpose of this work is to reclaim our community culture and heritage by helping business and property owners to develop an economically active and energetic historic downtown, providing visitors and residents alike an attractive, clean, shaded, pedestrian-friendly, small-town atmosphere. A Downtown Master Plan is a document that addresses issues .and opportunities. Issues include the exodus of businesses from the downtown area to the highway commercial areas of downtown, resulting in empty and boarded buildings. A number of vacant properties and underutilized buildings are contributing to the low economic activity in downtown. There are also opportunities Downtown Clayton Master Plan 1

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1. INTRODUCTION to be explored in the plan, such as enhancing the streetscape and pedestrian environment, and connecting the downtown with the courthouse on the west side of the railroad tracks. Downtown Clayton Master Plan 2

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DOWNT'OWN CLAYTO layton, N w M 10 , .... ,

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II. HISTORY OF DOWNTOWN CLAYTON Adapted from The Fus: Forty YeaI3': 1888·1928, by D. Ray Blakeley Clayton has always been a crossroads. From 100 million years ago when dinosaurs left their tracks embedded for later discovery to the proposed Ports-to-Plains Route that runs right through downtown connecting Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma with Mexico. Settlement of the town occurred in response to news that the railroad would be built sometime in the late 1880s, so Steven W. Dorsey, a cattle baron and senator formed the Clayton Land and Investment Company with additional investors and bought the land that became the town which was named after his son, Clayton. As soon as the rail arrived in 1888, running right through the town and Dorsey's ranch land, the community's growth increased substantially. Clayton quickly became an important shipping point for cattle and sheep. - ~ , I~ I. \ . fIJI11l·' \ 'JII ." '.,. /. '·11 ", , .' II .( .11 •. ···.1, " IJ' , I. The founding fathers designed the town in a grid pattern with streets wide enough for wagons to turn around. The first permanent business structures were I H .~,.. constructed east of the ralllines and one square block west of the rail was marked • "courthouse" well before Union County \ was created. Homes were built north and south of the courthouse square, which was higher ground than downtown. During the early years, Front Street and Railroad Avenue were considered the center of business, despite the fact that downtown was really a playa and prone to flooding until recently. The stockyards, a most important aspect of Clayton, were also west of the tracks and completed in 1888. =41.<1:1 l . ill. ~ I.~ I,~"';'I\ ! t', liotiO ..., By 1928, forty years after its founding as a busy "rag town" or tent city, Clayton's downtown district had largely achieved the facades it now hosts, discounting attempts after World War II to modernize its appearance with the addition of slick tiles and fake stone to hide the oldfashioned red bricks. Main Street was paved with concrete as was First Street, both being major federal highways, and the shade trees in front of Isaacs were felled in the name of progress. Streetlights were installed with the wiring embedded in the new cement sidewalks. Downtown Clayton Master Plan 4

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II. HISTORY OF DOWNTOWN eLA YTON By 1928, things were looking up for Clayton. A new school was being constructed just west of the courthouse to accommodate a burgeoning student population. The Santa Fe Railroad was building from Liberal, Kansas, to Farley, New Mexico, intending to hook up with the Santa Fe line again at Wagon Mound. A franchise had been granted to bring natural gas services into the community. The agricultural markets were at an all time high and crops were good for the homesteaders. Prospects were bright on the horizon - barring any unforeseeable calamities involving the national economy and/or the weather. Downtown Clayton Master Plan 5

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III. EXISTING CONDITIONS A. EXISTING PLANS AND STUDIES Town of Clayton Comprehensive Governments) Plan, adopted in 2002, (Eastern Plains Council of Recognizing that the local economy was rapidly declining and that agriculture could no longer sustain the community, the Town of Clayton initiated a comprehensive planning process. The Eastern Plains Council of Governments (EPCOG) facilitated the process and prepared the final plan, which was adopted in 2002. Elements discussed were housing, economic development, land use, infrastructure, transportation, and implementation. Highlights include: HOUSING. Over half of the homes (58%) were built before 1960 and 22% of those were built before 1940. Approximately 84% of the homes are occupied. No new homes were constructed between 1999 and 2001; building permits issued were for remodels or rehabs. For the elderly Clayton has a 45-bed nursing home which maintains a 98% occupancy rate. An assisted living facility is one of the community's high priorities. Twenty-five new rental apartments have recently been completed. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. Economic indicators including per capita income, average wage/job, unemployment rates, new businesses, gross receipts collected and lodger's tax indicated that Union County wage earners were the second lowest paid in the State in 2000. Although the number of businesses did not fluctuate much between 1990 and 2000 there was community consensus that business resources need to be improved and businesspeople informed. Gross receipts and Lodgers Taxes have steadily increased since 1990 compared to property taxes which could be increased. LAND USE. With the Town's purchase of 1,780 acres of irrigated farmland, the plan focused on business and funding opportunities including Economic Development Act (EDA) projects and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for a master plan. INFRASTRUCTURE. The Town expects to complete an inventory and valuation of its holdings to comply with the GASB. A comprehensive Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan for 2003 through 2007 was recommended. Among the Town-owned facilities, the airport has extensive improvements underway for both the runways and terminal building. TRANSPORTATION. Clayton will continue to seek ways to make the community more pedestrian and bicycle friendly. Sidewalks will be repaired and/or installed for pedestrian safety and circulation. New parks will have exercise stations and multi-use trails as well as bicycle lanes throughout the town. 40-Year Water Plan, 1997, (Engineers Inc.) A 40-year Water Plan was prepared by Engineers Inc. in 1997 and was updated in 2005 by ASCG Engineers. The plan summarizes Clayton's water production and use, provides population and water use projections to the year 2037, and describes alternative methods of augmenting and conserving water supplies in order to meet projected demands. In 1997 the Town did not have any water rights. The plan will allow Clayton to file a Water Rights Permit with the State Engineer's Office for projected use. Downtown Clayton Master Plan 6

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III. EXISTING CONDITIONS Clayton relies entirely on groundwater for its water supplies. The Town has 12 wells, although only five were in production when the plan was prepared in 1997. Two wells near the Town Hall have been shut off since the late 1950s when contaminants were discovered. Two wells discharge directly into the underground storage facility. There are four storage tanks which provide two days worth of storage. The report recommended an additional tank to increase storage to three days or two million gallons. A number of wells are unusable due to falling water levels, rust, running dry, surging, and unacceptable water quality. The State Engineer declared the underground basin, based on the report of Clayton's historical water production of the existing wells demonstrating use of the wells over time. Other recommendations included metering of fire trucks, construction tanks, and the railroad; instituting a water conservation plan; reusing wastewater to irrigate the golf course, cemetery, city parks and ball fields; and investigating Clayton Lake as a source for future water. The projections made in the report indicate that Clayton will not need additional water supplies yet could utilize additional storage to meet is current and 40-year requirements. Based on the lifetime of wells, it is recommended that the Town of Clayton look at alternative water sources to maintain the current level of production. Recommendations to augment the Town's water supply include: protecting and conserving existing supplies by encouraging conservation; additional wells; wastewater reuse; and reducing unaccounted use. Water conservation is the least expensive method of extending limited supplies in semi-arid regions. Strategies used by other communities include: education programs to raise awareness; rebate programs for installing efficient fixtures; encouraging xeriscaping; and requiring conservation plans for large users. Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance Designed to lessen hazards and ensure public safety, promote appropriate land use, conserve the value of land and buildings and facilitate adequate infrastructure (schools, parks, transportation, and sewage treatment), the "Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance" was adopted in 1986. For the purpose of this Downtown Master Plan, all zoning categories are included within the Plan boundaries with the exception of Industrial U); the majority of properties is zoned Commercial Business (C-B) which are clustered along the major north/south and east/west corridors: Front, First and Second Streets and Monroe and Main Streets. There are three Single Family Residential (R) areas along Third Street at Magnolia, Maple, and Oak Streets as well as Adams Street and First Avenue west of the railroad. There are three areas zoned for Churches (C-R, Commercial Restricted) and several Special Use (S-U) zones dispersed throughout the district. Density for Single Family Residential is one dwelling unit (DU)/50 foot frontage. The purpose of the Commercial Business zone is to provide for those commercial uses which serve the community on a day-to-day basis such as retailing, financial, and personal services as well as provide for highway oriented commercial uses to serve the local and transient automotive needs. The purpose of the Commercial Restricted zone is to provide a buffer between the commercially zoned districts and residential districts where the front footage of a commercial restricted district faces. The Special Use zone intends to permit only those uses which require special consideration because of their unusual nature, dimensions, frequency of occurrence, effect on surrounding property, or Downtown Clayton Master Plan 7

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III. EXISTING CONDITIONS other similar reason. The boundaries are determined on a case-by-case basis, expressly approved by the Governing Body. B. EXISTING CONDITIONS AND ASSET INVENTORY An inventory and mapping of existing conditions includes the following elements: existing land use, zoning, public land ownership, transportation networks and traffic volumes. An asset inventory is included with Clayton's Significant cultural and historic features, opportunity sites for redevelopment, and major regional attractions. The arrangement of Clayton's 4.71 square miles and its density of 535.7 persons per square mile reflect the transportation roots of the Great Plains and northeastern New Mexico. Historically, communities were sited along rivers and stream valleys where agriculture and ranching could flourish. Clayton's location was chosen to meet specific criteria that were established by what became the Burlington Northern rail lines. The land needed to be "on or near" the Texas-New Mexico border, relatively flat with plentiful grass and water, and midway between Trinidad, Colorado and Amarillo, Texas. A hasty arrangement of tents in a grid pattern popped up to serve the railroad on a 40-acre parcel that had been part of the Military Reservation to which veterans of the Indian and Civil Wars could claim and homestead. Clustered around the rail lines and courthouse, the town supported mixed land uses such as residential, commercial, and public uses within the center, reserving the outskirts for livestock awaiting shipment to markets. The aerial photo of the Town illustrates these land use patterns. Clayton's grid was established on an axis with the rail lines and intersecting roadways. The pattern established commercial uses and created distinct quadrants for residential neighborhoods. With Downtown Clayton Master Plan 8

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III. EXISTING CONDITIONS the advent of development east of the Town center along the highway, commercial businesses have abandoned downtown for highway frontage. Examples of uses include gas stations, convenience stores, restaurants, and motels. US Highways 64/56 and 56/87 illustrate commercial growth that develops in a linear pattern along the transportation corridors. The aerial photo illustrates the shift away from the town center where commercial uses are dispersed along the highways. The primary goal of this Downtown Master Plan is to develop growth strategies for mitigating the impacts of linear, dispersed development along the highways. Public Land Ownership Facilities owned by the Town of Clayton located within the planning area boundaries include the Civic Center, Town office building, Fire Station, Police Department and Union County Sheriffs Department, Public Library, Senior Citizens Center, and the D. D. Monroe Building which has been leased for more than thirty years. Transportation Networks and Traffic Volumes Clayton's status as the regional commercial center and seat of Union County, its history and its location along Routes 56 and 64/87 and the railroad ensures that transportation plays a major role in the local economy. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) conducted a community economic assessment in 2006, reporting that transportation and transportation related sectors of the economy accounted for a large portion of their "modest surplus of $7 million taxable gross receipts." Highway 87, a four-lane artery that serves northeastern New Mexico, is a major north/south corridor. It is also part of the Ports-to-Plains (PTP) Trade Corridor which is a planned, multimodal transportation corridor for efficient transportation of goods and services from Mexico, through West Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Oklahoma, and ultimately on into Canada and the Pacific Northwest. The PTP Trade Corridor's mission is that communities along the Corridor will become the gateways to trade throughout the nation and with Mexico and Canada. The project envisions that it will facilitate a 'dramatic increase in international trade, regional mobility, and economic status.' In 2006 a traffic study was conducted on Highway 87 east of the downtown district. During a 24hour period 3,013 non-trucks and 563 trucks were counted. There are no other known traffic studies (rail or highway) having been conducted in the area. Major Regional Attractions Capulin Volcano National Monument: Fifty-eight miles west of Clayton is this dormant volcano and national monument, the top from which visitors can see the five states of New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Active 60,000 years ago, Capulin Volcano is one among many in the Raton-Clayton volcanic field. Clayton Lake State Park is located 15 miles north of Clayton, close to New Mexico's border with Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. The landscape is characterized by rolling grasslands, volcanic rocks and sandstone bluffs. Set on the western edge of the Great Plains, it was a stopover point for travelers along the Cimarron Cutoff of the Santa Fe Trail. Visitors today can enjoy picnicking, camping, and superb fishing at the park's 170-acre lake, as well as view one of the most extensive dinosaur trackways in North America. Downtown Clayton Master Plan 9

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III. EXISTING CONDITIONS The Dorsey Mansion at Chico Spring, which is now closed, is just off the Santa Fe Trail in Colfax County and on the National Register of Historic Places. Travel through the rolling grasslands 24 miles east of Springer on Hwy 56, then 12 miles north on a dirt road to see this monument to the dreams, ambitions. calamity and eventual poverty of its owner. Stephen W. Dorsey. At its peak. Dorsey's ranch was eight miles wide and sixty miles long with more than 50,000 animals and a story book castle. It was the focal point for social life in northern New Mexico and home of one of the founders of Clayton. The Dry Cimarron Trail along the Cimarron River was one of the routes west for wagon trains of early settlers. Often. the river was dry. and wagon masters would cross the river without realizing they had been there. Fraught with danger and the lack of drinking water, this trail was hazardous at best. The historic Eklund Hotel has been a landmark for travelers of the southwest since the 1890s. It began as a two-story rock building in 1892 (the west side of the present buildings). The ground floor was occupied as a store until 1894 when Carl Eklund brought in his elaborately carved bar which is still in use in the saloon. Mr. Eklund and his wife, Gerda. purchased the property in December 1897. and the east two stories were built in 1889. They added the third floor and the "opera balcony" or porch in 1905. Lovingly restored and open as a hotel, the Eklund is a downtown destination. Folsom. When the Denver, Texas and Ft. Worth Railroad was finished in 1888. the construction camp of Ragtown became Folsom in honor of Frances Folsom. who married President Cleveland in the White House. The village thrived and had many businesses and residents until 1908. when a disastrous flood washed away most of the town. Seventeen people lost their lives and most of the businesses were never rebuilt. Nearby Bison skeletons and 19 projectile points were discovered in the early 1900s. The points. named after the town of Folsom, confirmed the theory that man had occupied the New World at least 10.000 years longer than anthropologists supposed. Rabbit Ear Mountain. a distinct landform near Clayton. was the site of a fierce and deadly battle between the Comanche and Spaniards. The Santa Fe Trail traverses Northeast New Mexico on its way from Missouri to Santa Fe. Wagon after wagon would follow the Santa Fe Trail. leaving a legacy of tracks that can still be seen today. Downtown Clayton Master Plan 10

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III. EXISTING CONDITIONS C. MARKET ANALYSIS Market research will be conducted that will include the following information: In 2006 the University of New Mexico Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) conducted a community economic assessment with funding by the New Mexico Economic Development Department and New Mexico MainStreet. The report considered demographics, housing, income and Clayton's economy. Recommendations target the impact of the state prison as well as opportunities for strengthening hospitality and related amenity services. The Town is situated as the center of a sparsely populated five-state prairie region. The geographic isolation is both a limitation and strength. With no large market centers near Clayton, residents are less likely to make frequent trips to other towns for goods and services and the Town is less likely to expand its draw. Two factors ensure Clayton's status as a regional center: it is the Union County seat and it is located at a major crossroad-Routes 56 and 64/87. Both factors are in the Downtown District, which is the center of Clayton. An overview of the economy reveals that in 2002 Clayton had a "modest surplus of $7 million taxable gross receipts, providing for reasonably solid town finances," the majority of which is garnered from transportation and transportation-related businesses. The sectors that draw revenues and gross receipts taxes into Clayton are also reflected in the distribution of employment. BBER reports that quotients are high for utilities, finance, insurance, real estate, public administration, accommodations and food services, healthcare and social assistance. An overview of housing market conditions is encouraging. Vacancy rates declined from 1990 to 2000. Housing is available and affordable. Housing values are 40% below the five-county region and less than one-half New Mexico's median value. From 1990 to 2000, Clayton's demographics indicate that the population is consistent with the northeastern New Mexico region with very slight increases. Overall, folks are somewhat older than New Mexicans and have fewer children; however, this trend may be changing. The majority identify themselves as white and about half claim Hispanic origins. The level of educational attainment from K-12thgrade improved; however, post-secondary degrees remain unlikely as Clayton's numbers are well below their surrounding counties and the state as a whole. Per capita incomes and employment are low in Clayton compared to the State. Unemployment is also lower than New Mexico's. BBER reports that poverty in Clayton is slightly lower than the State's; however, poverty among female-headed households is "more pronounced' here, particularly when children are added to the demographic picture. A recent history of downtown services and retail businesses shows signs that an exodus to the commercial corridors along the highways is underway, resulting in empty and boarded buildings. A number of vacant properties and underutilized buildings are contributing both to the low economic activity in downtown and a perception of deterioration. There is an increasing conversion of the residential area near downtown to non-residential uses, such as to office and service uses. Weaknesses in Clayton's economy are characteristic of small, isolated communities in New Mexico and the U.S. BBER reports that losses in gross receipts are within the high value service sector, including: wholesale trade, contract construction, legal services, hospitals, engineering and architectural services. Downtown Clayton Master Plan 11

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III. EXISTING CONDITIONS There are relationships that push, pull, and shape business in Clayton. Its location in the center of a large, thinly populated region far from metropolitan areas means people are less likely to make frequent trips elsewhere, pushing people out of town. It also means that Clayton is not large enough to establish large businesses that depend upon attracting a large customer base, pulling people to town. The retail sector, which is "surprisingly strong" despite the lack of a large retail outlet, exemplifies the town's economic dynamics. Losses in miscellaneous retail, to Wal-Mart, for instance, are "more than offset by gains in specialty sectors such as retail food stores." Trends The trends driving the current market are associated with the development of the state prison and transportation, particularly the Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor. There are two distinct phases of development of the prison, each requiring a set of unique skills. The first phase is construction which will be for a short time, bringing high-paying jobs to the area that are likely to be filled by temporary workers from elsewhere. While construction will create an increase in demand for services, its transitory nature also means substantial risk for entrepreneurs who expand and diversify without considering the long-term operations phase. Phase two, operations, will be long term. It has been reported that the current labor force is likely inadequate to meet the demand of this phase. This will require new workers to permanently relocate to Clayton and/or discourage residents from working outside the area. In either case, it is anticipated that incomes will rise. Development of the Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor and gross receipts data suggests that opportunities exist to strengthen hospitality and related amenity services. Opportunities for Repositioning Downtown There are opportunities to strengthen retail and service sectors that provide for the local and regional markets beyond those associated with the development of the prison. BBER reports that travelers on routes 56 and 64/87 are typically traveling long distance and stop for hospitality and related amenities. These opportunities, however, are limited and a cautious and incremental approach is recommended. This is due to modest leakage created when residents leave the region to purchase higher-value or bundled goods and services such as furniture, automobiles, advanced medical services. Both Albuquerque and Amarillo attract shoppers from Clayton. Opportunities exist for incremental diversification and expansion of existing businesses. Several positive factors are seen as potential contributors to commercial revitalization of the Downtown District. First, the purchase and restoration of the Eklund Hotel and the Luna Theater provide private sector reinvestment into the downtown and stimulate further, complimentary development. A second positive factor is public sector investment, which covers a part of the district including the intersection at Routes 64/87 and 56. A third positive factor is the historic fabric of not only the roadways but adjacent commercial and residential buildings which provide an opportunity for enhancement and marketing. A fourth development is the formation of the Clayton MainStreet, a revitalization organization drawing technical assistance and affiliation with the State's MainStreet Program and resources, including the Urban Design Program and the University of New Mexico's Design and Planning Assistance Center (DPAC). The opportunity exists to develop a comprehensive strategy to ensure the organization's success. This would include: capacity building so that the organization is able to provide coordination and management for the district; small business and technical services to assist in business retention and expansion; business recruitment and marketing program; and a sustainable source of funding for the organization. Downtown Clayton Master Plan 12

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